When we hear the word exercise, many of us imagine elliptical machines and aerobics classes at the local gym. However, being physically active doesn’t have to happen inside a building that requires a membership fee. In fact, outdoor spaces like Scottsdale’s McDowell trails and the Sonoran Preserve trails provide a great way to get healthy while enjoying beautiful scenery and relaxing. But will walking along these scenic trails really provide you with enough exercise to make a difference for weight loss?
Walking is a great way to increase your activity levels. Walking regularly, especially at a brisk pace over varied terrain, strengthens your heart and lungs and can reduce your risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. Walking is also a low impact activity that allows you to burn calories while protecting your bones and joints from pain and injury.
Besides the physical benefits of walking, spending time on Scottsdale’s McDowell trails is a great way to boost your mood. Walking has been shown to reduce the risk of depression and alleviate stress, and being outdoors is a natural mood elevator for many people. If you can’t make it to the Sonoran Preserve trails every day, plan a weekend afternoon for a long walk and take shorter walks around your neighborhood every evening after dinner. You’ll build your stamina and add variety to your workout routine, which has been shown to help people stick with exercising!